After serving one-game suspensions for their arrests on felony charges relating to firing BB guns into a Florida dorm, Gators freshmen wide receivers Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells will be eligible to play on Saturday against Kentucky, Jim McElwain confirmed in his Monday press conference.
(The relevant quotes come with about 15 minutes remaining in the above video.)
McElwain had previously said that Cleveland and Wells were “handled with” and only confirmed that they would be suspended for Florida’s opener against Massachusetts last week, saying that they were suspended for “personal choice issues.”
According to Alachua County court records, the cases against both Cleveland and Wells remain open, with nothing added to their respective dockets since late July. It is widely believed that both players will eventually have charges reduced, not least because Gainesville lawyer Huntley Johnson — who routinely successfully defends Gators accused of and charged with crimes — is representing both of them.
Florida could use both players in its suddenly very shallow receiving corps. After the loss of Dre Massey, Florida was down to just six available scholarship wide receivers against the Minutemen, and relied heavily on freshmen Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain. With redshirt sophomore C.J. Worton still battling an injury and senior Ahmad Fulwood struggling to escape a career-long pattern of inconsistency, it is possible, even likely, that Cleveland and Wells could be significant contributors this fall.